Shinkai’s highly awaited film topped all charts in the third week after its theatrical debut in Japan. Suzume No Tojimari film has reportedly sold 38 percent more tickets than the widely acclaimed film, Your Name. With the global release knocking at the door, fans are curious how Shinkai’s latest outing will stack up with his other two films. Will it deliver the same hype and ‘eyegasm’? Will it have chart-destroying songs like Grand Escape and Zenzenzense? Here is a spoiler-free Suzume No Tojimari Movie Review!
When it comes to Makoto Shinkai’s work, one cannot help but notice the similarities between Your Name and Weathering With You. Some criticized that the filmmaker was stuck in a rut, recycling the same theme over and over again. But it seems he has taken those criticisms to heart. And his latest movie, Suzume No Tojimari, feels like a breath of fresh air. While the film may be different in theme, it is still infused with the same heart and emotion that Shinkai is known for. It is as if Shinkai has taken the best of his past works and weaved it into a brand-new tapestry.
Inside The Mind of Makoto Shinkai: New Film With The Same Theme As Your Name?
Makoto Shinkai, the visionary behind the beloved films Your Name and Weathering With You, is back with his latest release, Suzume No Tojimari. This time around, Shinkai has decided to tackle a subject that is still very sensitive among the Japanese people, the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. This natural disaster claimed countless lives and left a deep emotional scar on the nation. Many critics were apprehensive about how the film would handle such a sensitive subject. But Shinkai has once again managed to navigate a delicate topic with careful planning and skill.
In Your Name, he wrote about preventing calamities. And about accepting them in Weathering With You. So after 11 years, he is prepared to bring the story to the younger generation who have not witnessed this calamity. As fans of his previous works know, Shinkai has a knack for exploring the depths of the human experience, weaving together tales of love, loss, and the search for meaning in life. With Suzume No Tojimari, he will be bringing a new perspective to a topic that has yet to be fully explored in his films.
He has imbued his latest cinematic opus with a plethora of mystical and ethereal elements, much in keeping with the stylistic proclivities exhibited in his past productions. Shinkai has also filled it with the rich tapestry of Japanese legends, as with his seminal work Your Name (Kimi no Na Wa), which used the Shinto belief of Musubi as its core. Likewise, similar Shinto-related myths will also be present in the new film. Yet, despite the otherworldly bent, his creativity gives the film some verisimilitude. While Your Name is about seeking something new, Suzume No Tojimari is about protecting what is already present.
Suzume No Tojimari Movie Review: Plot & Visuals
The story focuses on a high school girl, Suzume. She lives with her aunt in southern Japan. One day a man called Souta arrives in her area. She follows him and finds a door in the ruins of a mountain. The world through the door is a different one. Disasters ruin it. Soon the door closes, and they find themselves in the middle of chaos. To make matters worse, a feline entity named Daijin turns Souta into a chair for a tradeoff. With time running out, Suzume must embark on a perilous journey across multiple doorways to different parts of Japan in order to prevent impending disasters and rescue Souta before it’s too late.
The animation quality of the film is nothing short of spectacular, boasting awe-inspiring cinematography that will leave fans breathless. Rather than opting for the familiar urban landscapes of Tokyo as in his past works, Shinkai has instead chosen to focus on more understated regions of Japan. He carefully selected picturesque landscapes that serve to highlight the rustic charm of abandoned rural trains, bustling ports, and verdant tangerine fields.
Shinkai’s attention to detail extends not only to the visuals but also to the soundscapes. The renowned musical group RADWIMPS have once again lent their talents to the Shinkai’s film. The group managed to keep audio effects playing throughout the film, only pausing for brief minutes to enjoy the peaceful silences. However, this time the music has failed to connect with the fans emotionally.
Suzume No Tojimari Movie Review: Conclusion
Films like Your Name and 5 Centimeters per Second, allowed for poignant character moments, making the musical score and OSTs all the more impactful. In contrast to the prominent romantic themes in Shinkai’s other works, romance in Suzume No Tojimari takes a backseat. It is evident in the fact that the male lead, Souta, remains a chair for a major portion of the film. This deviation from the formula may make it unappealing to the critics. However, it is too soon to judge. International fans are still in the calm before the storm. This film might just turn out to be Makoto Shinkai’s magnum opus. Here we end the Suzume No Tojimari Movie Review! The film is all set to release in April 2023. Stay tuned for more updates!